Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will have to be ‘really aggressive’ if they are to beat Red Bull and Max Verstappen to the drivers’ championship, according to team boss Toto Wolff.
The seven-time champion claimed his 100th victory in Formula 1 at the weekend as he dramatically passed fellow Brit Lando Norris late on in the Russian Grand Prix after correctly opting to pit and change his tyres as the rain came tumbling down.
The win means Hamilton regains the championship lead by two points from Verstappen, but his Dutch rival also produced a statement performance in Sochi.
The 23-year-old started the race at the back of the grid after taking an engine penalty as Hamilton – who qualified fourth – looked to take full advantage of their respective positions.
But Verstappen made his way through the field and eventually finished the race in second place, minimising the damage done to his title ambitions.
And the result left Mercedes boss Wolff with the realisation that his team are going to need to attack Red Bull if they are to come out on top at the end of the season.
Speaking after the race in Sochi, he said: “Max recovered in spectacular form, and that is not good for the championship.
“We just need to continue to be really aggressive in how we approach this season, not be defensive but just move forward, in order to score these big points. Because neither us nor the others are really good in maximising the points at the moment.”
“There’s still everything to play for in these next races. I think they’ve got a good set of circuits coming up and I anticipate it will continue to be really close between us. Just got to be hopeful of some good races.”
Next up on the F1 calendar is the Turkish Grand Prix, with the race taking place on October 10.